SEER Stat Fact Sheets: Vulvar Cancer

Statistics at a GlanceShow More

At a Glance

  • Estimated New Cases in 2015 5,150
  • % of All New Cancer Cases0.3%
  • Estimated Deaths in 2015 1,080
  • % of All
    Cancer Deaths

Percent Surviving
5 Years

71.2% 2005-2011

Number of New Cases and Deaths per 100,000: The number of new cases of vulvar cancer was 2.4 per 100,000 women per year. The number of deaths was 0.5 per 100,000 women per year. These rates are age-adjusted and based on 2008-2012 cases and deaths.

Lifetime Risk of Developing Cancer: Approximately 0.3 percent of women will be diagnosed with vulvar cancer at some point during their lifetime, based on 2010-2012 data.

Survival StatisticsShow More

How Many People Survive 5 Years Or More after Being Diagnosed with Vulvar Cancer?

Relative survivalExternal Web Site Policy statistics compare the survival of patients diagnosed with cancer with the survival of people in the general population who are the same age, race, and sex and who have not been diagnosed with cancer. Because survival statistics are based on large groups of people, they cannot be used to predict exactly what will happen to an individual patient. No two patients are entirely alike, and treatment and responses to treatment can vary greatly.


Percent Surviving
5 Years


Based on data from SEER 18 2005-2011. Gray figures represent those who have died from vulvar cancer. Green figures represent those who have survived 5 years or more.

Additional Information

Cancer stage at diagnosis, which refers to extent of a cancer in the body, determines treatment options and has a strong influence on the length of survival. In general, if the cancer is found only in the part of the body where it started it is localized (sometimes referred to as stage 1). If it has spread to a different part of the body, the stage is regional or distant. The earlier vulvar cancer is caught, the better chance a person has of surviving five years after being diagnosed. For vulvar cancer, 59.2% are diagnosed at the local stage. The 5-year survival for localized vulvar cancer is 85.8%.

Percent of Cases & 5-Year Relative Survival by Stage at Diagnosis: Vulvar Cancer
Percent of Cases by Stage
  • Localized (59%)
    Confined to Primary Site
  • Regional (31%)
    Spread to Regional Lymph Nodes
  • Distant (5%)
    Cancer Has Metastasized
  • Unknown (5%)
59% localized; 31% regional; 5% distant; 5% unknown
5-Year Relative Survival
85.8% localized; 55.4% regional; 15.5% distant; 49.3% unstaged

SEER 18 2005-2011, All Races, Females by SEER Summary Stage 2000

Additional Information

Number of New Cases and DeathsShow More

How Common Is This Cancer?

Compared to other cancers, vulvar cancer is rare.

Common Types of Cancer Estimated New
Cases 2015
Deaths 2015
1. Breast Cancer (Female) 231,840 40,290
2. Lung and Bronchus Cancer 221,200 158,040
3. Prostate Cancer 220,800 27,540
4. Colon and Rectum Cancer 132,700 49,700
5. Bladder Cancer 74,000 16,000
6. Melanoma of the Skin 73,870 9,940
7. Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma 71,850 19,790
8. Thyroid Cancer 62,450 1,950
9. Kidney and Renal Pelvis Cancer 61,560 14,080
10. Endometrial Cancer 54,870 10,170
- - -
28. Vulvar Cancer 5,150 1,080

Vulvar cancer represents 0.3% of all new cancer cases in the U.S.


In 2015, it is estimated that there will be 5,150 new cases of vulvar cancer and an estimated 1,080 people will die of this disease.

Vulvar cancer is rare. It is more common among women with a medical history of vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia, human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, or genital warts. The number of new cases of vulvar cancer was 2.4 per 100,000 women per year based on 2008-2012 cases.

Percent of New Cases by Age Group: Vulvar Cancer
0.2% under 20; 2.0% 20-34; 6.1% 35-44; 15.3% 45-54; 19.8% 55-64; 19.8% 65-74; 22.1% 75-84; 14.9% 85 and older

Vulvar cancer is most frequently diagnosed among women aged 75-84.

Median Age
At Diagnosis


SEER 18 2008-2012, All Races, Females

Number of New Cases per 100,000 Persons by Race/Ethnicity: Vulvar Cancer
  • Sex-Specific CancerAll RacesFemale 2.4
  • WhiteFemale 2.6
  • BlackFemale 1.8
  • Asian /
    Pacific Islander
    Female 0.9
  • American Indian /
    Alaska Native
    Female 2.0
  • HispanicFemale 1.7
  • Non-HispanicFemale 2.5

SEER 18 2008-2012, Age-Adjusted

For vulvar cancer, death rates increase with age. The number of deaths was 0.5 per 100,000 women per year based on 2008-2012.

Percent of Deaths by Age Group: Vulvar Cancer
0.1% under 20; 0.5% 20-34; 2.0% 35-44; 7.6% 45-54; 13.0% 55-64; 17.7% 65-74; 29.4% 75-84; 29.8% 85 and older

The percent of vulvar cancer deaths is highest among women aged 85+.

Median Age
At Death


U.S. 2008-2012, All Races, Females

Number of Deaths per 100,000 Persons by Race/Ethnicity: Vulvar Cancer
  • Sex-Specific CancerAll RacesFemale 0.5
  • WhiteFemale 0.5
  • BlackFemale 0.3
  • Asian /
    Pacific Islander
    Female 0.2
  • American Indian /
    Alaska Native
    Not Shown, <16 cases
  • HispanicFemale 0.3
  • Non-HispanicFemale 0.5

U.S. 2008-2012, Age-Adjusted

Trends in RatesShow More

Changes Over Time

Keeping track of the number of new cases, deaths, and survival over time (trends) can help scientists understand whether progress is being made and where additional research is needed to address challenges, such as improving screening or finding better treatments.

Using statistical models for analysis, rates for new vulvar cancer cases have been rising on average 0.5% each year over the last 10 years. Death rates have been rising on average 1.5% each year over 2003-2012. 5-year survival trends are shown below the figure.

More About This CancerShow More

Cancer and the Vulva

Vulvar cancer forms in a woman's external genitalia. The vulva includes:

  • Inner and outer lips of the vagina.
  • Clitoris (sensitive tissue between the lips).
  • Opening of the vagina and its glands.
  • Mons pubis (the rounded area in front of the pubic bones that becomes covered with hair at puberty).
  • Perineum (the area between the vulva and the anus)

Vulvar cancer most often affects the outer vaginal lips. Less often, cancer affects the inner vaginal lips, clitoris, or vaginal glands.

Vulvar cancer usually forms slowly over a number of years. Abnormal cells can grow on the surface of the vulvarExternal Web Site Policy skin for a long time. This condition is called vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia (VIN). Because it is possible for VIN to become vulvar cancer, it is very important to get treatment.

Additional Information

More Information

Here are some resources for learning more about vulvar cancer.


All statistics in this report are based on statistics from SEER and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics. Most can be found within:

Howlader N, Noone AM, Krapcho M, Garshell J, Miller D, Altekruse SF, Kosary CL, Yu M, Ruhl J, Tatalovich Z,Mariotto A, Lewis DR, Chen HS, Feuer EJ, Cronin KA (eds). SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2012, National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD,, based on November 2014 SEER data submission, posted to the SEER web site, April 2015.

Suggested Citation

All material in this report is in the public domain and may be reproduced or copied without permission; citation as to source, however, is appreciated.

SEER Cancer Statistics Factsheets: Vulvar Cancer. National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD,

This factsheet focuses on population statistics that are based on the US population. Because these statistics are based on large groups of people, they cannot be used to predict exactly what will happen to an individual patient. To see tailored statistics, browse the SEER Cancer Statistics Review. To see statistics for a specific state, go to the State Cancer ProfilesExternal Web Site Policy.

The statistics presented in this factsheet are based on the most recent data available, most of which can be found in the SEER Cancer Statistics Review. In some cases, different year spans may be used. Estimates for the current year are based on past data.

Cancer is a complex topic. There is a wide range of information available. This factsheet does not address causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, follow-up care, or decision making, although it provides links to information in many of these areas.